Terminal Tip: Four ways to turn off Finder animations and speed up your system
1. Disable standard Finder animations.
defaults write com.apple.finder DisableAllAnimations -bool true
2. Disable 'snap to grid'.
defaults Write com.apple.Finder AnimateSnapToGrid -bool FALSE
3. Disable Info pane animations
defaults write com.apple.finder AnimateInfoPanes -bool false
4. Disable slow-mo animations (seen when you press Shift during Exposé launches or window minimization)
defaults write com.apple.finder FXEnableSlowAnimation -bool true
Issue any or all of these at the command line, and then restart Finder. (Enter killall "Finder" at the command line.) To reverse these effects, change from true to false or false to true and restart Finder again. So did this make my creaky 733 G4 Power PC Mac run faster? Perhaps a little. The biggest changes in speed I noticed were in accessing folders from the dock.
Mac OS X Hints has posted several ways to disable Finder animations like the snap-to-grid animation and the Info window opening animation....
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